Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: A business most feral

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  • Russell Brown,

    Bierre and the ADHBs got a bit of a bum rap on that case. Justice Asher, in the High Court, effectively invented a new form of conflict of interest in order to overturn the decision: the argument was not that Bierre abused his position to win the tender, but that by being on the board (before the tender) he instinctively had a better understanding of what the board was looking for from a proposal on community labtesting (a far cry from actually seeing the RFP ahead of time).

    Fair enough. That's certainly not how it played out on Parliament, where Bierre was accused of misleading a range of stakeholders. It also seemed odd that he was supposed to have stood down six months before the bid, but Asher found that he had only done so 18 days before the RFP was issued.

    It did, however, occur to me at the time that MedLab appeared to believe it had a sacred right to the contract.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17941 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    This very clearly was not a good board. Tom S's comments upthread about the local media's performance seem quite relevant.

    Russell: Who would would you actually rate among local media as covering DHB's well - if at all. Not many, if any (your cheque is in the mail, Mr Scribe) as far as I'm concerned. If it bleeds it leads, other wise sod off seems to be the standard m.o.

    It looks like no one comes out completely clean, except perhaps for Cunliffe.

    And just wait a mo', Russell. Before we get together and give Cunliffe a hand job, perhaps there's one or two questions to be asked about how the hell things got this bad in the first place. But, hell, everyone's got something to cover their arses with. I'll just add Hawkes Bay to my list of places not to get sick enough to require hospital care in.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11614 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1091 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    And just wait a mo', Russell. Before we get together and give Cunliffe a hand job

    Eeew.

    perhaps there's one or two questions to be asked about how the hell things got this bad in the first place.

    Before Cunliffe was Minister of Health, you mean?

    The allegations have been that Cunliffe's sacking of the board and appointment of an administrator was a naked attempt to shut down a political scandal involving his predecessor. The independent review has essentially said the board was so bad he didn't have much choice.

    And the fact is there have been official questions raised about that board's performance for some time. The local press appears to have had a different perspective.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17941 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Before Cunliffe was Minister of Health, you mean?

    No, I mean while he was part of a government that was supposed to be making sure that this kind of bullshit wasn't going to happen any more. That was trumpeting elected DHBs as some rebirth of community involvement, transparency and all that other good stuff.

    I'm just going to let my jaw sit on the floor for a while, because this story in like leaving fish outside on a hot day -- the stench is getting worse. And I'll be the first to applaud Cunliffe if he's the first health minister I can remember who'd actually step up and say leadership has to come from the top; and ask some politically inconvenient question about whether the DHB model actually works.

    We shall see.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11614 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall,

    Tom S's comments about the petty sniping among the local big cheeses hold a lot of water and sound very familiar to me. I grew up in Gisborne and exactly the same sort of crap happens there: big fish in small ponds don't like their waters being disturbed.

    He's also pretty much right about Hawkes Bay Today. It's editor, Louis Pierrard, has, by his own admission, a bee up his jaxy about Labour; so much for even any pretense of objective journalism.

    The Check Point interview with (I think) one of the former board members alluded to the petty bickering: "Easties" vs "Westies" were the terms used.

    Oh how the chattering snobs of Havelock North will be busy dissecting the fall-out over their "wain" tonight.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 548 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Robeson,

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/story.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10498579

    I see that you are being painted as a the big bad wolf who made the poor ACT advertising man feel bad.

    I fail to see how they got away with those billboards. If they were a company it would have been done for misleading advertising.

    Yet the Herald doesn't see that misleading, misinforming and highly emotive advertising in large amounts is any way an 'ATTACK ON DEMOCRACY'. Only legislation designed to limit them.

    and while i'm on bugbears
    : that a major reason John Howard lost was because he tried to force an employment-contract-act style employment law on Australia.

    And one of the compelling factors in the differences in wages between here and Australia is that Australia didn't scrap their unions and depress or subdue wages to fight inflation. Are the media going to let John Key get away with having a right wing industrial relations policy (or an unannounced policy) and harping on about migration to Australia?

    Since Feb 2008 • 87 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Oh how the chattering snobs of Havelock North will be busy dissecting the fall-out over their "wain" tonight.

    *cough* Might not be the best place to hoist that particular chip onto one's shoulder. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11614 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I see that you are being painted as a the big bad wolf who made the poor ACT advertising man feel bad.

    What on earth is John Ansell on about? As far as I can tell I've never even mentioned him by name -- and even on the two occasions I expressed some distaste for the iwi-versus-kiwi billboards, my language wasn't exactly angry. How bizarre.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17941 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    What on earth is John Ansell on about? As far as I can tell I've never even mentioned him by name -- and even on the two occasions I expressed some distaste for the iwi-versus-kiwi billboards, my language wasn't exactly angry. How bizarre.

    He was probably using "Russell Brown" as a shorthand term for "bloggers that actually pay attention to people trying to pull the wool over their eyes". In much the same way that one might use "your mum" as shorthand for "not a cutting edge tech-user".
    Its probably a compliment...

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 825 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Robeson,

    Well I guess they no longer blame the media like Murray McCully used to calling them 5th columnists and the like, mainly because the media has become more and more analytically impotent.

    Maybe the truth hurts? And this is the nature of your attack. The fact that there was some informed discussion on a complex issues that had been reduced to a single word polarities could have seemed highly threatening.

    ...or perhaps the beginning of a campaign to reduce your credibility as an informed and mostly impartial commentator in the run up to the election?

    Since Feb 2008 • 87 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    "As far as I can tell I've never even mentioned him by name -- and even on the two occasions I expressed some distaste for the iwi-versus-kiwi billboards, my language wasn't exactly angry."

    Yeh. Ironically in 2005 I remember you and few others here generously remarking on their cleverness. I remember this because I sent you a remark pretty much pointing out Paul R's great post above, that they seemed to shit all over private market advertising standards.

    Their persuasiveness was based on presenting distorted, misleading and emotive views on policy differences between the parties. Propaganda plain and simple.

    But gee didn’t Don look good. Why are we still dealing with an Act party? Do the people of Epsom still feel victimized so much they need their own party? Has the price of pool cleaning gone up recently? Maybe we should have a telethon for them?

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    But gee didn’t Don look good. Why are we still dealing with an Act party? Do the people of Epsom still feel victimized so much they need their own party? Has the price of pool cleaning gone up recently? Maybe we should have a telethon for them?

    Oh, piss off. At least Evelyn Waugh was amusing when he vented his disgust at the idea of vulgar and stupid people electing their governments:

    If I voted for the Conservative Party and they were elected, I should feel that I was morally inculpated in their follies; if they failed, I should have made submission to socialist oppression by admitting the validity of popular election. I do not aspire to advise my sovereign in her choice of servants.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11614 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall,

    Oh how the chattering snobs of Havelock North will be busy dissecting the fall-out over their "wain" tonight.

    *cough* Might not be the best place to hoist that particular chip onto one's shoulder. :)

    Why not? I don't get it. Could you be more specific please, Craig?

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 548 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    "Oh, piss off. At least Evelyn Waugh was amusing when he vented his disgust at the idea of vulgar and stupid people electing their governments:"

    Oh, fuck off (wow, abuse it's so easy). Socialist oppression, Evelyn Waugh. You should really go for a walk and meet the citizens of New Zealand one day.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Why not? I don't get it. Could you be more specific please, Craig?

    I just thought it was a rather peculiar sneer, considering that Public Address readers sure seem to be a pack of shameless elitists who aren't averse to setting the world to rights over a faine whine or six. Not that there's anything wrong with that, as Jerry Seinfeld used to say.

    Oh, fuck off (wow, abuse it's so easy). Socialist oppression, Evelyn Waugh. You should really go for a walk and meet the citizens of New Zealand one day.

    Evelyn Waugh was an enormously funny man, and never more so that when he was camping it up as a bilious reactionary. If you're so concerned about "the citizens of New Zealand" try not being so fucking patronising to those whose voting habits don't meet your approval.

    Here's my class divisions for the human race: Bores, Wankers and Good Folks. You're about as boring - and as big a wanker -- as the usual suspects over at Kiwiblog who froth about Labour voters being a pack of lesbians, school teachers, union hacks and morons who want to keep their welfare payments flowing.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11614 posts Report Reply

  • Glenn Pearce,

    What on earth is John Ansell on about? As far as I can tell I've never even mentioned him by name -- and even on the two occasions I expressed some distaste for the iwi-versus-kiwi billboards, my language wasn't exactly angry. How bizarre.

    I thought he was trying to take the piss out of you actually. Sort of feigning having to steel himself about comments on your blog. That's exactly what he's trying to achieve isn't it ?

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 342 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    Craig & Jeremy - Theater guys.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    No, I mean while he was part of a government that was supposed to be making sure that this kind of bullshit wasn't going to happen any more. That was trumpeting elected DHBs as some rebirth of community involvement, transparency and all that other good stuff.

    I think whenever you elect boards of this sort, some are going to fuck up. If we wanted them to never fuck up, we'd just appoint top professionals to run the Health Boards in this country. Actually they'd still probably fuck up sometimes.

    Seems to me that Hawkes Bay has had community involvement, there's been transparency - that's why they all got fired. No it's not perfect, but things are going to screw up sometimes, and you step in and fix them.

    It's part of running a country.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6145 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I think whenever you elect boards of this sort, some are going to fuck up.

    Kyle:

    Entirely fair comment: Out of the crooked timber of humanity no straight thing was ever made, and all that. But what I find enormously frustrating about this whole exercise is that there are people whose lives and well-being quite literally depend on major contracts being awarded on the basis of merit not patronage. Cunliffe can feel as vindicated as he likes (and with some cause), but you can forgive me for reserving my plaudits until someone comes up with a reasonable solution for why places like Hawkes Bay, Wanganui and Capital & Coast are such screaming cot cases. I'm not asking for perfection, just mere competence.

    That is going to require real leadership -- and considerable political courage -- that I would cheer from the rafters wherever it's to be found.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11614 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    That the better Cunliffe looks in his extreme action the worse King looks for her in action and colse connection.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    But what I find enormously frustrating about this whole exercise is that there are people whose lives and well-being quite literally depend on major contracts being awarded on the basis of merit not patronage.

    Yeah, that's the crappy part. There are fuck-ups, there probably always will be fuck-ups, but they have a human cost.

    Hopefully the competence is to be found at the other... 22 or whatever DHBs. If they're not in the news for being crap, hopefully that means they're at least reasonable.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6145 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    Cunliffe on RNZ made HBDHB sound out right dangerous to human life with their actions towards the waitlists.

    If true there sould be a secure future for those involved.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis,

    Even if the Public Address people were all " bores and wankers" it would still be a good read when Craig can come up with one liners lke giving the Minister a "hand job"
    I doesn't even look good when I quote him but when he does it it is class!!

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 521 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Apparently HBDHB couldn't RTFM because there is no Manual...creating one for Governance and other tricky procedures (like, conflicts of interest) is in the recommendations from the Report.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2468 posts Report Reply

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